The Baba Ganoush, a creamy blend of eggplant, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil, I discovered not too long back. I was not too happy with myself to have lived with the ignorance of how to make more yummy dishes out of eggplant. So far I almost always ate it as a messy glob of steamed vegetable without fully exploiting its full potential. My present exposure to more varied cuisines has made me[and my palate] curious about new flavors and the Baba Ganoush, though entirely alien, was a nice introduction to my first taste of Lebanese cuisine.

The somewhat complex mixture of smoky, mashed up eggplant, tangy lemon and crunch from a stray sesame seed in the tahini may sound daunting to reproduce at home but it is far from being difficult. The relatively hard step might be, for some, to have the eggplant grilled or charred over a flame until the flesh turns soft and mushy. This simple step-by-step recipe from Minimalist Baker provides a good guide as to how to go about making Baba Ganoush from scratch in an average kitchen.

BABA GANOUSH

Ingredients:

1 medium or 3/4 of a large eggplant

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

1 medium lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons Tahini

Sea salt, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Olive oil, for roasting

Method:

  • To make tahini, toast 1 cup sesame seeds on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes then add to a food processor. Blend until smooth with a dash of olive oil.

  • We will need only 2 tablespoons of the homemade Tahini for the Baba Ganoush recipe below.
  • Preheat oven to medium or high broil and position a cooking rack at the top shelf of your oven.

  • Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and sprinkle with sea salt. Place a colander in the sink.
  • Leave to drain any excess liquid. After 10 minutes, rinse slightly and pat dry between two towels.

  • Arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast for 5-10 minutes.
  • Turn once or twice, until eggplant is softened and golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool.

  • Peel away most of the skin of the eggplant, it should come off easily. Add flesh to food processor.
  • Add the lemon juice, garlic, tahini paste and pinch of salt. Mix well until it forms a creamy paste.

  • Add herbs last and fold in with a spoon to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Serve with pita or pita chips and raw veggies. It will keep covered in the fridge for several days.

Baba Ganoush